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adfero affero


I was forced by poor memory and no early training in the terminology of grammar to give up Latin at 12, and French by O Level, but etymology has always been of great interest. In recent years, reading about languages, there was something about the economy of Latin.

Latin quotes are all over the web. This seems to be a standard list. Run down the As and before you know it you are wishing you had a good memory:

Abutebaris modo subjunctivo denuo – You’ve been misusing the subjunctive again.

What better than to be able to throw that one out at a dinner party in the full knowledge no one understood a word of it: and then getting even greater pleasure with a faux, fine blend of various species of pedantry and didacticism by explaining the subjunctive in great detail.

Or,

Ad augusta per angusta – To high places by narrow roads

Sounds wonderful, whatever does it mean? A phrase to use on the blackboard much like teachers favourite: “Paris in the the Spring” bounded cunningly within an equilateral triangle ( found in all school psychology text books).

Or even,

Ad lucemTowards the light (motto of the University of Lisbon)

which gives me an strong desire to spend at least half an hour finding out why the U of L chose it.

Adfero affero rather appealed to me: an alliterative and repetitive (consonance?) poem in itself. It means, to bring news, report / apply, bring to bear. Unfortunately, when setting up this weblog, it got misspelt at the URL name deciding stage. Hence forever swotty Latin pedants (by which I mean experts in Latin not Mediterranean types in general) will smile as they come across the mistake. Unfortunately I am stuck with something which looks more like to bring iron than news.

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October 4, 2007 Posted by | Latin | | Leave a comment